Region 9 going under mitigation, state hits new record of COVID-19 cases

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Illinois State Capitol in Springfield. (Photo via Good Free Photos)

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois announced that Region 9 would be going under coronavirus mitigation measures the same day the state set a record for new cases.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) on Wednesday reported 6,110 new confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Illinois, including 51 additional deaths.

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker also announced that Region 9, Lake and McHenry counties, would be under COVID-19 resurgence mitigation measures starting on Saturday, Oct. 31. The measures means the entire Chicago metropolitan area and the northern third of the state are under the measures.

“As of this morning, Region 9 – Lake and McHenry Counties – has now sustained an average positivity rate of 8 percent or higher for three days – meaning that they will join seven of our 11 other regions in operating under resurgence mitigations,” said Pritzker. “So, beginning on Saturday at 12:01 a.m., public gatherings in Lake and McHenry counties will be reduced to 25 people, and indoor dining and indoor bar service will be temporarily closed – although outdoor service in tents and takeout, delivery and drive through service will remain available. These resurgence mitigations aim to cut down on some of the highest high-risk activities until we bring down the positivity rate in a region once again. I know this virus is hard on everyone. But this battle isn’t going away by itself. We have to manage our way through it with the tools we have available to us. And there are many of those tools that nearly everyone in our state has available to join the fight.”

“With Region 9 being added to the list of regions in mitigation, we are getting close to the entire state implementing mitigation measures,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.  “This is not just a warning, but a call to action.  We continue to move backwards, losing all the ground we had gained over the summer. We turned the state around once, let’s do it again. Limit your potential exposures by wearing a mask, physically distancing, and limiting in-person gatherings. It will take all of us working together to beat this virus.” 

In a statement, the governor’s office said that businesses in Region 9 and the other regions under mitigation will get priority consideration for the current round of Business Interruption Grants (BIG), with $220 million available to help offset costs and losses businesses have incurred as a result of the pandemic.

As of Wednesday, a total of eight of the state’s 11 regions have triggered one of the state’s failsafe state-action metric. Currently, Regions 4, 5, 7, and 8 are operating under Tier 1 mitigation measures given that these regions continue to report a 7-day rolling positivity rate above 8 percent.  Regions 10 and 11 will soon operate under Tier 1 mitigations given that these regions triggered additional mitigations based on sustained increases in both positivity and hospitalization rates. Region 1 is currently operating under Tier 2 mitigation measures after continuing to see a rise in positivity, even under the Tier 1 mitigation framework, with the highest rolling positivity average in the state.

Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 389,095 cases, including 9,619 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois.

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